Archive for the ‘Newspapers’ Category
And in case that link dies, here’s AAP’s version, via the (Murdoch rival, Fairfax’s) Sydney Morning Herald.
I just hope it won’t be as violent as last time.
A curmudgeonly skinflint writes
ITV launched a new mobile phone video news service this week. It costs £2 to subscribe for a week’s worth of downloads and I’m still trying to think of a reason why I might.
Don’t get me wrong, there certainly will be moments worth viewing, but probably not everyday and in that case what mechanism do ITV have to alert me to something engaging, so that I’ll grab my mobile phone and look at their video?
And if the news is *that* big, then other outlets will have it, and I’m going to be able to get it for nothing.
The update bulletin comes at the start and end of the day, so they’ll have a tough job competing against the quality newspapers and freesheets, which rule the commuters’ precious travel slots.
Perhaps ITV News would pull in more eyeballs if they were to show a bit more of this.
Coincidentally (how’s this for juxtaposition), CNN also chose this week to abandon their web video pay service, Pipeline.
“People don’t like to pay for stuff on the internet”, said the CNN spokesperson. She’s too broad there, there’s loads of things worth paying for, but simply copying the material that freely available on other platforms and sticking it on a webpage, or a phone, isn’t one of them.
The secret is to mix it up
Apple currently have a marketing campaign showing how their products are revolutionising the Washington Post. The short promo video is worth watching.
Yes, it’s an ad, but there are some important lessons in this video, and the Washington Post is one of the publications I admire for their ability to understand the depth of change which is required in their operation. They have learnt they have to follow the audience as well as lead them, in order to keep them coming back for more.
Executive Editor Jim Brady has a key quote in the promo and he realises something which comes quite naturally to broadcast-trained reporters but is new to their print cousins: story treatment. Just because it works well on the page doesn’t mean it’ll work the same way in video, or vice-versa.
“In print you’ve already decided how you’re telling the story, you’re gonna tell it via text, occasionally a couple of photos. [But online] what’s the story? Let’s sit down and figure out how to best tell it. Is this a story that best told only through video? A gallery? A mix of video and text?”
By the way, did you notice how the promo video is mostly just animated stills? That’s treatment.
At the time of the BBC Local TV trial last year, newspapers were worried that a more locally focused television service would be a reason not to read local newspapers.
Whether you think that’s true or not (and I don’t) the trial has had a good effect in mobilising newspapers into producing video, some with better results than others. However consent for the service is travelling down the BBC Trust’s approval process which looks like it could take the rest of the year.
The BBC also has less money to spend overall which either puts the Local TV launch in jeopardy or means the suggestions Mark Thompson made about paying local newspapers for their stories now look doubtful.
I’m worried that newspaper groups will take the foot off the development accelerator at just the point at which they’ve been given some breathing space to beat the beeb at their own game.
There’s another reason to surge forward because ITV Local is an altogether different disruptor. This one is a direct threat. The BBC just wants to stay relevant with local audiences, ITV not only wants the local audience, (and it’s wooing the younger crowds) it wants a share of local newspaper advertising.
With that purchase, they get access to Scoot’s classifieds listings (which they’re currently promoting as a free way to sell your stuff). This is a lot more sensible than the previous plan to encourage viewers to send in video classifieds.
There’s the standard property, motoring, jobs, dating options too.
For interest – here’s ITV Local’s ratecard. How does it compare to your newspaper’s? And what might be the effect on your newspaper when ITV starts promoting the new service in earnest peak time on regional TV?
There’s a period of tough and bold decision making ahead.
Video is part of the modern infomation provider’s toolkit, but doing it well takes time and is more expensive than text-based reporting. But think to the future when local video won’t be something you watch on a website. It will be on your television and any mobile device you happen to have to hand.
This means some serious investment and groups like the Guardian realise it.
Establish partnerships. If you can’t make authoritative TV, link with someone who can. If you don’t have the necessary technical support, buy it. If you don’t have the answers there are consultants around like me who can take months off your planning and implementation processes.
The boldest move of all is the simplest : Who’s going to be the first newspaper to partner with ITV Local?
One of the rare times I get to trumpet blow
The Press Association has lifted a little of the curtain away from a project that I’ve been working on for a few months.
It’s an online audio slideshow tool which aims to help the PA use more of its photography by enabling the rapid assembly of online multimedia slideshows, and you can see the first public use of it on the Press Gazette website.
There are 5 slideshows in all, showing some of the highlights of Monday night’s British Press Awards. Martin Stabe and Paul McNally created the soundtracks.
The big differences between this and other slideshow creators are :
- Ease of use
- It’s a network service, contribute photos and create slideshows from anywhere online
- It’s collaborative, a bunch of people can work together on the output
The project work continues, there are some additional features to add, but we anticipate that the tool itself could be licenced to newspaper website, or photo producers so they can quickly create their own slideshows. When something’s this useful – why keep it to yourself?
Paul Bradshaw, and I have the same muses. And what I wouldn’t give to see the server stats of the Telegraph’s 4pm PDF edition.
Steffen Fjaervik at Poynter Online suggests that hardly anyone reads PDF papers.
I live in London and I have two free papers (thelondonpaper, London Lite) thrust into my hands on going home, so I tend not to bother printing anything else out, but I’m quite prepared to accept that I’m atypical.
In the Poynter article consultant Peter Zollman says:
“digital editions could be updated and made more interactive through embedded audio, video, or multimedia files, etc. But not many publishers of digital editions are doing that”.
Interesting. I can’t think of anything stranger than producing a page that you intend people to print out, and then embedding multimedia into it. Maybe everyone else has got a brand of printer I haven’t heard about, but for some reason whenever I print out a PDF, the video and audio links stop working when they get to the ink+paper medium.
The Telegraph’s 4pm does this, and it’s actually a good, and well put-together read, but if Poyter’s right and it’s all a waste of time, the stats for the multimedia on the top-right must be low.
(And today, the audio and picture gallery links are still broken, some 4 hours after publication – that tells you something.)
It’s not that multimedia is the wrong thing to do, it’s unquestionably the right thing, but you have to get it into the right medium, and at the right time, and in the right way for it to be effective.